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Do you pronounce English words correctly?
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March 07, 2007

Part I: Improving English -- Grammar comes first

Is there a trick to help get one's English pronunciation right without sounding artificial?

This question may occur to you with you are trying to spruce up your spoken English.

According to communications expert and Director of Formal Education at IMS Learning Resources, Charanpreet Singh, " The only way you can get your pronunciation right is by not being artificial. Indians have a bit of an inferiority complex and put on unnecessary accents that help no one, least of all the listener. So be natural and try to pronounce each word clearly."

Charanpreet answered a number of such queries on English during a chat on February 22.

For those of you who missed the chat, here's the transcript.


Manav asked, actually i am good with my english but dont have confident to deal it in my real life

Charanpreet Singh, Director, Formal Education, IMS answers, 
Hi Manav. There are lots of people with confidence problems. Let's first agree that English is not our mother tongue, so we will have these problems. Second, we must face the problem head-on. Make sure you speak in English whenever you get the opportunity. Form a group where everyone has this problem, so you can speak freely without getting embarrassed. Practice will make you more confident.


binod asked, My spoken english is not good , kindly give \e some tips so that i can improve my spoken english and vocabalary.

Charanpreet Singh, Director, Formal Education, IMS answers, 
Hi. I am answering this question and this is for all of you seeking to improve your spoken English skills. Spoken English has three parts -- structure, words and grammar. Structure is based on you ability to analyse. So if you are logical and clear-thinking, your structure will be good. Grammar and words are about language. You learn a language in four ways -- read, listen, write and speak. Read books and novels; listen to people who speak correct and good English; write (or try to write) correct English in whatever you do (for example chat and e-mail) and create opportunities for speaking. You need to focus on all four to make an improvement.


pandit asked, sir, i am worried about the criterion that the group discussion examinor considers during selection into campus interviews and business school entrance, is it fluency, leadership(domination), creativity or being humble?

Charanpreet Singh, Director, Formal Education, IMS answers, 
Hi. There are a number of questions on group discussion and personal interview. The moderator looks for clarity of thought and expression, listening skills, body language, ability to deal with a group, assertiveness, knowledge and presence of mind.Yu need to come in maybe three or four times during the discussion and make valid points.


somi asked, would you advice reading newspapers or classic novels to improve english?

Charanpreet Singh, Director, Formal Education, IMS answers, 
Hi. This is to give my suggestions on reading. You need to read newspapers and magazines to enhance your knowledge. But real improvemnent happens when you graduate to reading novels, stories, etc -- they need not be old classics but even lighter novels by good authors will do. You need to devlop the reading habit if you wish to increase your familiarity with the language.


rao asked, Hi CP,Is it OK if I speak slowly and correctly?

Charanpreet Singh, Director, Formal Education, IMS answers, 
Hi rao. Absolutely -- in fact, that's the way to speak English. English should not be spoken fast. Speak clearly, slowly, so that people understand what you are saying -- a lot of our problems arise from the fact that we tend to speak too fast.


vishal asked, Hi charanpreet. what are the basic thing we should keep in mind when communicating with some one

Charanpreet Singh, Director, Formal Education, IMS answers, 
Hi Vishal. There are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind. One -- who is your audience? You must communicate in a way that makes it easy for the audience to understand you. Two -- be very clear about what you wish to communicate -- the key message. Wrap this message in as simple a language as possible -- use short sentences and speak slowly and clearly.


Yuvaraja asked, Dear Sir, I heard learning any new language is an ART, it won't come easily for everybody. For supporting to this statement I have been trying to improve my engish(oral & Writeen) since 3-4 years but am not able to improve that much extent. Please suggest in this regard sir.

Charanpreet Singh, Director, Formal Education, IMS answers, 
Dear Yuvaraja, don't be dwarfed with such statements -- I believe learning a language is a function of necessity. If you are in a situation where you must speak a particular language, you will learn it. "Practising" a language always helps -- you may not realise it but you must have improved in the last few years that you made a consciuos effort -- it's just that your target keeps getting tougher.


Navdeep asked, Good Afternoon Sir I am a Steno and am an introvert want to become extrovert. I know English but i have no english environment in my office or friend circle. I want to become english spoken person with gramatically english. What should I do.

Charanpreet Singh, Director, Formal Education, IMS answers, 
Hi. Transforming yourself from an introvert to an extrovert is a personality thing -- English will play a very small role in this. Also, if you are an intrinsic introvert, it may not be a bad idea to remain that way. Improving your language skills would require hard work -- you have to find friends with whom you can converse -- and you have to make a habit of reading.


rncs asked, Hi! Is there any trick in getting English pronunciation right without sounding too artificial?

Charanpreet Singh, Director, Formal Education, IMS answers, 
Hi rncs. I am glad you asked this question. The only way you can get your pronunciation right is by not being artificial. Indians have a bit of an inferiority complex and put on unnecessary accents -- that helps no one, least of all the listener! So speak naturally and pronounce each word clearly.


Charanpreet Singh, Director, Formal Education, IMS says, Dear all, we have time for this much and no more. I tried to cover most of your questions in my answers, though it was impossible to address each one of you separately. Hope the chat has been of help!


Part I: Improving English -- Grammar comes first

-- The author is passionate about training students in the art of communication and has conducted several workshops, and delivered lectures at IIM-C, XIMB and IISWBM. Currently the Director of Formal Education at IMS Learning Resources, he passed out of IIT-Kanpur and has an MBA from the University of Iowa, USA.


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